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How to Overcome That Obnoxious Creative Rut

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If you’re feeling a little bit blue lately and don’t have the energy to sit down and create, I feel ya! Learning to overcome that obnoxious creative rut is hard, but doable. 

I’m starting to become jealous of all y’all who have time to sit down and create lately. Where do you find the time? Like, be honest here. Because I need some tips. Life, while wonderful and crazy, has become chaotic and overwhelming these past few weeks. We added speech therapy (in addition to occupational and physical) to my son’s schedule a few weeks ago, Chris has been working crazy late hours lately, and we’re house hunting so that adds on extra stress and running around in our free time. I’m lucky if I don’t collapse on the couch by 5pm most days. So that means creating has just had to take a back seat for now. And it sucks.

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If you’re a parent you know how much we need that down time. That me time. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing things for and with my kid. He is the happiest guy on the planet (except when he’s throwing an epic tantrum at 2am). But this mama is tired and sometimes she needs a break. But when your husband is working until 1am on the weekdays and heading into the office on the weekends, mama-time is pretty much a no-go.

I know this is just a season of chaos and that it’ll pass. It always seems that adding a new therapy to our son’s schedule throws mine off for a bit. I need to find my footing, rearrange my own schedule so that I can find time for myself. It just takes time and that’s okay. I know this won’t last forever. But right now; when I’m freakin’ exhausted all I want is for this season to end. For reals.

Trying to find my creative footing in this season has been a bit difficult. I’m overwhelmed and tired and that doesn’t mesh well when I’m sitting down trying to write or create. But something happened yesterday that woke up my creativity and got me excited again. And today I’m feeling more like myself. I’m still tired (and a bit of a hot mess) but I’m excited to get creatin’. Which is exactly what I’m going to do today!

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How to Overcome Your Obnoxious Creative Rut

+ Get.Some.Sleep.

Y’all, I know this is common sense but can we just talk about how much more SANE I am when I get a solid 7-8 hours of sleep? I get super weepy (like pregnancy hormones + Parenthood finale weepy) and my fuse is oh-so short. I’m not the most fun to be around when I’m tired so I kind of give Chris a free pass to play as many video games as he wants during that time. Because I wouldn’t want to be around me either, ha!

+ Do something fun (for you

Fun for me is cooking. Crazy, right? (you foodies get it though, I hope!) This weekend we had a friend come over and I was so excited to plan the meal (we ate this and it was AH-MAZING!) and clean the house to get ready for her. I felt more like myself (creatively speaking) in those few hours of cooking and cleaning than I have in the last month. Getting to create in the kitchen was awesome, cleaning up the mess….not so much.

+ Utilize your alone time

A lot of my alone time has been spent laying on the couch or cleaning the house these past few weeks. Our house is a mess and I’m really trying to purge some stuff before we move so that we’re not overwhelmed by the enormous amount of “stuff” we’ve collected over the years. My alone time used to consist of photographing or creating projects for the blog, but that hasn’t happened at all lately. What I’ve realized is that to use nap time well, I should plan out my two hour window. The first hour needs to be cleaning/picking up, and if I’m better about keeping up with the cleaning daily then I won’t get so overwhelmed with it! The second hour can be my creative time. I’ve found that if I have a plan going in it’s much easier to stick to it. I mean, right now Chris and the kiddo are taking a nap together and I’m blogging, it’s blissful.

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+ Ask for help

I’m so bad at this. Like, really really bad. I hate admitting I can’t do things and I hate asking people to help me with even the simplest of tasks. I’m totally one of those I can do it all! types and it causes problems because I get overwhelmed and then just crash. It’s not healthy or helpful. So…I’ve started to ask for help. If I want time to work on a project I’ve started just telling Chris it’s what I want to do. We usually make a deal; I work on my project while he plays/makes sure the kid doesn’t go all Evil Knievel on us and then when I’m done I take over with the kid and he can go play video games. It actually works for us and we both get time to unwind and relax, which we both desperately need.

+ Get back to your hobby…..slowly

If you want to get overwhelmed and burnt out again, jump back in to your hobby guns blazing. Don’t do it y’all, just don’t! It’s not fun. If you try to force yourself to get back into it you’ll only regret it later because you’ll be even more burnt out than you were before. I’ve tried (and failed) these past few weeks to force myself to craft a project. Actually, if you follow me on Facebook you probably saw the video of me asking for help on a front porch project. I got some great ideas that I was super excited about, but I never was motivated enough to sit down and finish the project (it’s on my to-do list, don’t you worry!).

If you try to force yourself to start creating, you’ll probably find that you start to pull back. You’re not confident in what you’re doing and you’re just unhappy with the way the project is going. That usually means that you’re trying to overcompensate and force something that should be fun and relaxing for you. If that happens, just step back and wait. Wait until you start to get excited about the project again. Work on other things that make you happy, find a different creative outlet. Getting back to it will happen, but sometimes it just takes time.

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I’m by no means an expert on any of this. I just know that I’ve gotten super burnt out before and it sucks. It also sucks when the thing that used to bring you joy is stressing you out. And there is nothing more depressing than an obnoxious creative rut.

You may find me in and out of this space a lot for a little while. Some of it is because of the obnoxious creative rut and some of it may be because house hunting is exhausting y’all. It’s just stressful and not fun sometimes. But I’m feeling better, more creative, and more relaxed. So hopefully that means I’ll be motivated to start working on things again.

If you’ve ever found yourself in an obnoxious creative rut how did you get out of it? Do you have any tips for me?

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2 Comments

    1. haha I wish we were closer too! That way we could hang out, let the boys play, and sip on some coffee. 😉 But seriously, you are the SWEETEST, and you know how much I love my cheese. haha!

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